Travelling to the north and feeling peckish? Here’s what to look out for when you’re alighting at Woodlands or Marsiling MRT station.
Woodlands got its name from its past as a rubber plantation, with Woodlands village, Kampong Mandai Kechil and Kampong Kranji dotting the area. Now known as Woodlands New Town, the vibrant hub holds plenty of hidden food finds.
Marsiling Crescent is home to the historic Marsiling Tunnels, once used by the Royal British Air Force. These tunnels were used as fuel depots, and were later taken over by the Japanese during World War II.
AH KEAT PIG’S ORGAN SOUP AND KWAY CHAP (BLK 211)
Located near Woodlands Checkpoint, this stall won us over with its affordable price, variety and delightful taste. One portion of kway chap ($3.50) consisted of an egg, steamed fish cake, large and small intestines and braised pig skin, all of which went well with the herbal soup. The vinegary chilli gave the dish an extra kick.
SHI MEI ROAST MEATS (BLK 211)
Just next door from Ah Keat’s, Shi Mei rolls out mouthwatering Hong Kong Style roast meats. For $4.50, the roast pork is crispy and juicy while char siew was generously portioned. The rice was flavourful and complemented the dark sauce. Definitely worth the journey.
YASSIN KAMPUNG SEAFOOD (BLK 210, #01-01)
Previously from the now-defunct Woodlands Centre area, this modern joint serves Vietnamese, traditional Malay and even tze char dishes. Don’t miss signatures such as baby squid ($11), which features the deep-fried squids tossed in a sweet and spicy sauce, as well as crab in buttermilk with salted egg yolk ($35). Tel: 6667 3481
This quiet suburb is home to industrial buildings, lush greenery and old school markets.
HONG JI CLAYPOT BAK KUT TEH (BLK 19, #01-329)
We were impressed by our steaming claypot of bak kut teh ($11.50). The herbal soup was earthy and light, a refreshing change from its peppery counterpart. The tender pork ribs came with portions of tau pok and button mushrooms which were great with the dark soy sauce and chilli dip. Tel: 9682 2614
YAN JI SEAFOOD SOUP (BLK 19, #01- 283)
Located in Broadway Coffee Shop, this seafood soup ($6) is popular with the lunchtime crowd. The hearty seafood broth is topped with a generous serving of prawns, succulent dory fish and minced meat. Upsize to the crayfish soup ($10) if you’re feeling decadent.
WOODLANDS STREET 13
CITRUS BY THE POOL
Situated in a cosy nook outside Woodlands Swimming Complex, Citrus by the Pool offers quality café food at affordable prices. Don’t miss the tangy tom yum seafood pasta ($10.80) featuring fresh squid, prawns, shellfish and pasta served in tom yum broth. Hearty homemade pumpkin soup ($5.50) is a must-try, as well as their sweet potato fries ($7.50) that comes with choice of chilli, curry, wasabi mayo and salted egg sauce. Tel: 6366 6581
THE WOODGROVE (WOODLANDS AVENUE 1)
One of the smallest estates, in between Marsiling and Woodlands, is Woodgrove, which is dominated by condominiums and landed properties. The Woodgrove stretch has a couple interesting places to stop at.
PAPA’S SKEWER BAR (#01-11)
No surprise—this bar offers a wide range of skewered meats, seafood and veggies that will leave you hankering for more. Take your pick of skewers (from $1.30 per skewer) and settle down to a DIY barbecue plate. Wash the food down with a range of Kronenbourg beers. Tel: 9847 4988
FOREVER HAPPY CAFÉ (#01-18)
Drop by Forever Happy Café for a cuppa and a slice of cake ($8.80 per set, from 1pm) when you’re around Woodgrove. This is a great place for an afternoon catch up session with your friends, or just a quiet place to relax. We enjoyed the caramel macchiato ($5.50) as well as their earl grey tea latte ($5.50).
RABBIT OWL DEPOT (#01-01)
First opened in North Bridge Road in 2014, Rabbit Owl Depot has expanded to The Woodgrove. Treat yourself to one of their signature crispy, fluffy snowflake waffles ($5.50), topped off with a scoop of ice cream of your choice ($3.50). There are more than 10 flavours, we loved the wildflower honey and milk, and Thai coconut most. Tel: 6336 4075
WOODLANDS WATERFRONT PARK (ADMIRALTY ROAD WEST)
Tranquil and beautiful, Woodlands Waterfront Park offers a panoramic view of the sea and overlooks the Johor Straits. It is popular among residents of the north and recreational fishermen, who try their luck at the 400m long jetty.
RASA ISTIMEWA (6A ADMIRALTY ROAD)
Located on the scenic Woodlands Waterfront jetty, this is an ideal place for the family to get together over a delicious seafood meal. Do try the cereal prawns ($28), fried milky cheese red grouper ($40) and selection of ikan bakar that includes cockles ($5) and stingray ($14). A breezy walk down the jetty after your meal is in order, for a view of Johor Bahru. Tel: 6366 9339
CAUSEWAY POINT (1 WOODLANDS SQUARE)
Located in the heart of Woodlands, Causeway Point is a buzzy hub with the bus interchange and MRT station right next door. Boasting over 250 stores, the mall offers seemingly endless shopping, entertainment and halal-friendly dining options.
Indulge in anything from Japanese cuisine to nasi padang at this halalcertified food court. Check out the Indonesian fare at Bumbu Desa, including ikan bakar jimbaran ($12.90)—grilled Balinese-style fish, and fried cockle kway teow ($4.30) from Suka Ramai.
PENANG CULTURE (#05-12)
Penang Culture promises a halal-certified, foodie experience at their renovated Causeway Point outlet. Must-tries include assam laksa ($7.95) and cuttlefish kang kong ($5.95). Tel: 6894 7872
WOODLANDS AVENUE 1
This stretch of Woodlands is closer to Marsiling MRT. Listen to the hearty laughter of senior residents as they bond over a routine game of chess at sunrise. By noon, the area livens up with energetic school kids from Fuchun Secondary and Si Ling Primary.
H&J CAKE SHOP (BLK 325, WOODLANDS STREET 32 #01-139)
This neighbourhood cake shop doles amazing ombre cakes and old school bakes such as pandan longan ($1.90 per slice) and modern favourites like rainbow cake ($3.80 per slice). Customised cakes start from $80. Tel: 8399 8528
KOTA BALI WESTERN FOOD (BLK 326, WOODLANDS STREET 32 #01-103)
This family-owned stall has been around for the past 20 years and is now operated by the secondgeneration owners. They are best known for serving authentic and affordable western dishes, such as grilled chicken chop ($6) and black pepper pork chop ($6). Or you can go for a whole deepfried spring chicken ($8.50).
AL-FALAH RESTAURANT (BLK 302, WOODLANDS STREET 31)
Located in a S-11 coffee shop, Al-Falah has been a popular favourite among Northerners. Musttries include the delicious Indian rojak (minimum $3)—which feature pickings of your choice, deepfried and served with tangy chilli sauce. They also have prata (from $1).
TANAKA VEGETARIAN FOOD (BLK 306)
Vegetarians fret not, there’s also something for you. This eatery has a number of affordable and tasty meat-free dishes, such as kway chap ($3), laksa ($3) and chicken rice ($3). Like any other vegetarian stall, they also offer a selection of mock meats and vegetable side dishes.
PITSTOP (BLK 304, #01-113B)
For a taste of authentic chendol ($2), come on down to Pitstop, where they also serve up daily specials like roti kirai ($3), lontong ($3.50) and nasi sambal goreng ($4.50) There’s also old school ice pops called air batu Malaysia in flavours like bandung ($0.70) and sour plum ($0.50).
HAINANESE CHICKEN RICE (BLK 304)
Located within a S-11 coffee shop, this award-winning Hainanese boneless chicken rice sees long queues during peak hours. Take your pick from white or roasted chicken ($3), and order a plate of cold chicken feet ($3) to go along with your meal.